Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mike Cleveland

The Power of the Cross: 162nd Edition, December 20th, 2020

Greetings friends,

Welcome, new subscribers! This weekly newsletter shares short gospel teachings and testimonies from Setting Captives Free students. We hope you will find it helpful and encouraging.




Today we are announcing a new course called "Ruth: The Gospel Illustrated". This is an interactive video teaching series designed to illustrate the gospel of Jesus Christ, through the study of the Book of Ruth. 

Many thanks to one of our female mentors who worked tirelessly to help with formulating and timing the questions to the video, for your benefit.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This year our Christmas and New Year celebrations will likely look a bit different than they have in the past. Due to all of the Coronavirus related restrictions our gatherings are smaller if they happen at all. 

But Christmas is a celebration of the One who came to forgive our sins and right our wrongs, to open prison doors and set captives free, to remove the sting of death and give us eternal life. As the psalmist put it, "The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3 And we can celebrate Jesus and His gospel whether in large gatherings or small, whether with those we love or by ourselves.  

As we say goodbye to 2020, I pray that you will look from the manger to the cross of Christ with me and rejoice in what God has done by sending Jesus to die on the cross to take away our sins and to rise again victorious over sin, death, and hell. I pray that your home will be filled with sounds of "joy and victory" because "The Lord's right hand is lifted high; the Lord's right hand has done mighty things!" We "will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done." Psalm 118: 15-17

This edition will be the last newsletter of 2020; expect the next edition on January 4th. Until then, all of us at Setting Captives Free wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

In closing…

I would love to have written with my grandpa, he loved to write poems. 
But now he's gone, so I'm writing alone. 
Jesus' love he shared with all, until the day he answered the call. 
To be with the One who took his place, to see His Savior face to face.

So here is a poem my grandpa wrote, with a few verses I added, 
the cross to promote:

The Manger’s Still His Bed by Murl Vance, 
added verses by grandson Mike Cleveland

When infant Jesus came to town
And asked for space, men turned Him down;
The very creatures of His fold,
They turned their Lord out in the cold.

The stable first threw wide its door,
A lowly place with earthen floor;
The vaunted upholstery, filled with sin,
Had not the room to take Him in.

The quiet sheep looked on our Lord,
The Lamb of God whom they adored;
“Oh come, Creator, Lord of earth,
Here in our home may be Thy birth.”

The ox was next to bow his head:
“Oh come, my King, here make Thy bed,
Thou Lord of all, Creator mine,
My manger, yes, my all is Thine.”

Thus first He lived midst sheep and ox,
His cradle first a manger box,
The low of earth first heard His cry,
While men walked past with heads held high.

Again today Christ came to town;
Again today by Pride turned down;
The crowded heart, so filled with mirth
Has not the room for King of earth.

Again today He turns aside
To find a stable opened wide;
Again the manger He must seek,
The lowly heart, the humble, meek.-- Murl Vance

To earth He came, to love His own
They received Him not and rejected the Stone
They didn’t understand, their rejection was loss
Jesus came to save, as He hung on a cross

Once more He comes, to love and to give
The scars in His hands prove we will live
Will you turn Him away, by your hard heart of pride?
Or will you embrace the wounds, in His hands, feet, and side?

For now’s the time, and today’s the day.
It might be your last, so don’t delay
Tomorrow’s not promised, why would you wait?
Please come to Christ, tomorrow’s too late.--Mike Cleveland



Friend, if you find you agree with the mission of Setting Captives Free, to see the gospel of Jesus Christ change hearts and lives, would you please consider helping us to continue reaching people with the gospel? Please pray for us, and also consider setting up a monthly tax-deductible donation of any amount. Thank you in advance. 


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